Coronavirus Bereavement Advice

We offer our heartfelt condolences to anyone who has suffered a bereavement through the Coronavirus, or under any circumstance during these uncertain and disturbing times. We want you to know that you're not alone and we will try our best to guide you in the right direction.
All of us at The Good Grief Trust have lost someone close, so we want to help you find the support you need as quickly as possible.

This is our new page to bring you updates on the crisis and signpost you to the charities, support services and helplines that offer dedicated advice and information. We are so sorry that you are here, but we hope this advice helps you.

COVID-19 NATIONAL NHS BEREAVEMENT HELPLINE - 8am - 8pm 0800 2600 400

 

A new Bereavement Helpline has been introduced by the NHS to support bereaved families during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The new helpline is not a counselling service but will be available to offer support, guidance and advice on dealing with grief and loss.

The helpline will be staffed by NHS Blood and Transplant registered nurses who are highly skilled and experienced in working with bereaved people.

What is the purpose of the helpline?
During the Coronavirus outbreak there has been an increase in bereaved families, as well as significant changes to palliative care and end of life services, which will affect all deaths, both Covid-19 and non Covid-19 related.
This is a bereavement helpline to offer guidance, support and advice to those dealing with loss at this difficult time.

What guidance and advice will the helpline offer?
We will be listening carefully to each individual who calls to determine what level of support they need or can be directed towards. We are working with a number of charity partners who have offered their services for us to direct people towards. We will be signposting the callers to services ranging from the practical to specialist bereavement and emotional support. This is not a counselling service.

Who is answering the calls?
The service will be run by dedicated staff members from NHS Blood and Transplant who’s jobs involve working closely with bereaved families. These are registered nurses who are unable to work on the frontline due to their own health or personal circumstances.

USEFUL LINKS - DEDICATED SUPPORT FOR THE BEREAVED DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

Support for the newly bereaved

Sudden

Helpline - 0800 121 6510

Supporting you if someone you love has died unexpectedly

London Support - Thrive London & London.gov.uk

Cruse Bereavement Care

Irish Hospice Foundation

National Bereavement Alliance

Barnardos

We operate an advice line service providing support to any adult concerned about a bereaved child/young person.  The operating times are Monday, Tuesday and Friday 10am-1pm (excluding bank holidays).

Advice line number is 07867 372711

cbsreferrals@nullbarnardos.org.uk

Supporting sudden death in children and young adults

To Wish Upon A Star - Helpline; 01443 853 125

The Compassionate Friends - Support for bereaved parents

SUDCUK - Support for sudden unexpected death in a child 1-18yrs

Call 001 973 795 1257 (1.30pm-9.30pm Mon-Fri)

Sue Ryder - online counselling support

Looking after yourself following a suicide during this pandemic

Support after Suicide Partnership 

Help is at Hand booklet - Suicide support

Support for the Jewish Community

Support for the Muslim Community

 

SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

Childhood Bereavement Network  - Supporting Grieving Children during the outbreak

Helping Children Grieve during the Coronavirus crisis - Irish Hospice Foundation

How to say goodbye when a funeral isn't possible - Winston's Wish 

Child Bereavement UK  - Guidance on talking to bereaved children

Child Bereavement UK’s website has guidance for families and professionals created in response to Covid-19, including short guidance films and information sheets on supporting children through difficult times, advice for when you are unable to visit someone who is ill and information for schools on supporting bereaved pupils  www.childbereavementuk.org  The charity’s Helpline is operating as normal: 0800 02 888 40 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) or email: support@nullchildbereavementuk.org.  For LiveChat visit the website.

This is a short film made by The Belfast Trust to explain the complexities of a bereavement during the crisis. This may alleviate some of the fear and confusion they may face after losing someone they love.

 

 

FUNERALS

Under the current restrictions enforced by the Government during the Corona crisis, funerals and cremations may be disrupted or delayed. The number of family members permitted to attend a funeral has been limited. Many people who are grieving the death of someone close may be in isolation and unable to attend funerals. This will clearly cause a great deal of upset and will be distressing. We hope we can help you through these times with some suggestions and signposting to other organisations offering advice.

https://www.cruse.org.uk/coronavirus/funerals

Thank you to Poppy's Funerals for offering updates on advice and guidance.  'One of the main challenges that we’re facing is the changing restrictions on what a funeral can look like. Every day, we’re responding to new rules issued by crematoria, hospitals and the church as well as updates to the official guidelines. There are questions like how many people can attend a funeral, how they can act once they get there and even whether it’s safe to sing'. Please click this link for their blog.

Here’s what a funeral director wants you to know during Covid-19

Please click this link for more general information on funerals;
https://www.thegoodgrieftrust.org/need-know-info/funerals/

The Quaker Social Action have some advice for organising a funeral during this crisis;

Coronavirus - organising a meaningful funeral 

Cremations

Please see this link for some suggestions from Mortlake Crematorium on managing a cremation under the new restrictions.; https://www.mortlakecrematorium.org/coronavirus/

Advice from Cruse; COPING IF YOU HAVE TO MISS A FUNERAL

  • Ask the funeral director if the service can be recorded or live streamed
  • Write or record a message to be played
  • Set aside the time while the funeral is taking place to have your own memorial at home
  • Ask someone who is attending to call you afterwards
  • Hold your own memorial at a later date when the restrictions are lifted
  • Contact the Cruse Freephone National Helpline 0808 808 1677

GRIEVING IN ISOLATION

Please see these links below for advice on feeling isolated through your grief, which may be compounded because of the current guidance for us all to Stay at Home.
There are many virtual ways of connecting with friends and family during these weeks and months ahead.

Click here to find out more about our VIRTUAL GOOD GRIEF CAFES. This new online support service offers the bereaved a chance to meet others who are grieving in their own homes, via Zoom. We hope that these regular meet ups will provide vital connection during this crisis and the benefit of peer support with others who understand.

Virtual Connections and Support
We recommend you go online and try to find a group that may help you.

  1. Whatsapp groups are being formed with family and friends talking virtually to each other to keep a check on the well being of others in their network.
  2. Facetime is available for face to face chats online.
  3. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all excellent ways of connecting with others.
  4. Social Media; Please see our own social media platforms to talk, share and message other people who are bereaved at this time.

Cruse Bereavement Care: https://www.cruse.org.uk/coronavirus/grieving-and-isolation

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-52048088

VIRTUAL GOOD GRIEF CAFES - ONLINE SUPPORT GROUPS

Regular Weekly Sunday and Wednesday Virtual Cafes - 12 noon - 1pm

The Good Grief Trust have adapted their Pop Up Cafes, to open new online face to face support groups.  Offering a virtual hug over a cup of tea in your own home.  You are most welcome to pop along for a chat, stay as long as you would like, or sit in and say nothing, but just listen, whatever feels right for you is fine.

These Cafes are safe, closed meeting places run via Zoom. You will be sent a password and login details.

We want to make you feel comfortable and able to open up about your grief with others who understand.

Regular Monthly Virtual Cafes

Next date; Friday 15th May - 11am

Please book your place here Hello@nullthegoodgrieftrust.org

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER

RECORDING VOICE MAILS & SAVING PHOTOS

We urge you to consider thinking about recording messages from a mobile phone, or transferring and/or printing photos from a device before or soon after your relative or friend dies.

We have had many comments from the bereaved, to say how devastating it can be to find out that weeks after you lose someone you love, their voices have been erased from phones and precious photos are lost.

Please see our Things to Consider page for more general suggestions; https://www.thegoodgrieftrust.org/need-know-info/things-to-consider/

IF YOU ARE AFFECTED BY A TERMINAL ILLNESS

MARIE CURIE

If you are affected by a terminal illness: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/coronavirus

HOSPICE UK

Please see this link on Hospice UK for a comprehensive guide to advice and information on their work with the bereaved during the crisis.

https://www.hospiceuk.org/what-we-offer/clinical-and-care-support/coronavirus-guidance

ADVICE FROM JULIA SAMUEL MBE - PSYCHOTHERAPIST

MANAGING ANXIETY AND GRIEF DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

Julia Samuel MBE is a psychotherapist specialising in grief, who has spent the last twenty-five years working with bereaved families.

The upheavals caused by the virus on day-to-day life — on our social lives, work routines, schools and childcare — are causing great anxiety, she says, exacerbated by the fact that there is no “template” for dealing with a pandemic. There is a general sense, she says, that “there’s no one in charge that we know is going to sort it. There’s no saviour.” Social media is only compounding anxiety. Rather than catastrophise about an unknown future, she recommends keeping plans on a short timeline: “Don’t project into weeks and months ahead, plan today.” New structures are important too: “We’re very habitual beings. The coffee that you buy, the route that you take, the clothes that you get, even the thoughts that you have down a particular street. You have them habitually as you get to the office. We have to create new structures and habits that give you a sense of agency and efficacy.”

Some of our usual coping mechanisms — alcohol, drugs, promiscuity or extreme busyness — are particularly unhelpful: “If you block pain, you block joy and the capacity to experience all feelings.” Instead, it’s healthier to acknowledge our difficult feelings, with support from friends and family, alongside exercise.

‘Grief Works’ is a compassionate book demonstrating how an examined death is as important as an examined life. It shows us through vivid case studies, that when we face our fears: the death of someone we love, our own death or being with bereaved friends, we are paradoxically, better able to cope with them.
Read more

Our Library

Please see Our Library page for more suggestions for books which may help;
https://www.thegoodgrieftrust.org/our-library/

WELL BEING

It is very important to look after your mental and physical health during this crisis, particularly if you are self-isolating and feeling alone.

Please see our Well Being Page for general advice and guidance and suggestions from Lee Pycroft, our Ambassador, which may help.

Important; please note that some of the videos on this page are pre the Coronavirus crisis and suggest going out into nature as a way of promoting well being. Under the current Government guidelines, please ensure that you are social distancing when taking exercise in the open air.

London.gov.uk - Advice on looking after your mental health during the crisis

MIND

Advice on coping with your mental health during this crisis.

You might be worried about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include having to stay at home and avoid other people. Click here for advice from Mind;

Advice from Gov.uk

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is going to affect everyone’s daily lives, as the government and the NHS take necessary steps to manage the outbreak, reduce transmission and treat those who need medical attention.

Regardless of their age, this may be a difficult time for children and young people. Some may react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty later on.

Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

OUR LIBRARY

Please click here to access our library of recommended book titles which may help.

 

LOOKING AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Mental Health Foundation - General Information

Rethink Mental Illness -  Great practical advice for those living with mental illness and those caring
for someone with a mental illness

Mental Health UK - How to have a conversation with youngsters about Covid-19

Mental Health UK -  A selection of helpful blog posts

A lot of therapists are offering discounted rates to keyworkers during this time, so that is something
for people to explore.

NHS staff to have free access to wellbeing apps until the of 2020: Headspace, Unmind and Sleepio and Daylight 

Royal College of Nursing - Advice to Nurses to protect their mental health

NHS - Top Tips to look after your mental wellbeing during this time

Mates in Mind - Homeworking Mental Health Tips

@rwl on Instagram are offering a free mindset course that you can access online.

@ImPaulMckenna on Twitter- Paul Mckenna has some mindfulness advice to cope during this time

There are lots of online exercise classes that are completely free, by exercising that will help release
endorphins which will in turn improve our mood. There are classes for Yoga, Dance classes to HIIT sessions.

You can also listen to a range of body scan meditations by searching for these on You tube,
completely for free. This is a very useful resource and can help if you are struggling to sleep due to
this anxiety inducing time.

KEEPING YOURSELF HEALTHY

Lots of interesting recipes and advice coming soon on how to keep yourself healthy during these challenging times.

Please visit our new Good Grief Recipe Book page - for ideas and tips on keeping yourself healthy at home during this crisis.

YOGA AND MINDFULNESS

Thank you to teacher Claire Copersino for this article and suggestions for yoga positions to help after a bereavement. She is a yoga teacher in Greeport, New York. To learn more, visit northforkyogashala.com.

She says; 'during the course of all of our lives, we will inevitably experience grief that stops us in our tracks, both literally and metaphorically. When this happens, it can be tempting to distract ourselves instead of processing our emotions. But when we embark on a regular yoga practice, we begin to release the stuck, stagnant energy that results from unprocessed feelings. I designed this sequence to help you open your hips—a particularly potent area when it comes to unearthing and releasing stored emotions—and to help you turn your pain and grief into fearlessness and compassion'.

https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/15-poses-to-open-your-heart-again-after-grief

Yoga for Anxiety - 20 minute Practice - Yoga with Adriene
We have been recommended to share this Youtube channel to guide you through yoga moves to help with a bereavement
https://youtu.be/bJJWArRfKa0

Grief Yoga - Healing Through an Ancient Art - Psychology Today
https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/understanding-grief/201806/grief-yoga

The Yoga poses that healed my pain
'I didn't know that grief commonly returns, that this was my body marking the anniversary of the death of my dad the year before. It was with this sadness that I arrived one day in October at a yoga studio, neither strong nor flexible, surrounded by people whose bodies seemed as lithe as dancers' (I've found out since that some of them are dancers)'

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/the-yoga-poses-that-healed-my-pain-8652763.html

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